Living within the shadows, you’ll find the darkest secrets this planet contains, existing somewhere in the ethers between our realm and hell, constantly leaning in on us when we’re least equipped to manage the weight of their woeful untruths. Elektragaaz bravely enters this universe in their new record The Synaesthetic Picture Show: Part 6 and its seven stunningly fascinating tracks, and although not devoid of melodicism in its collection of songs, this is a record far more focused on the shape of its music than the might of its harmonies.
Elektragaaz venture into a mist of melancholia in “American Humoresque,” crush conventional hooks with their twisted psychedelic work in “The Forge of the Red Horseman,” and take aim at tenacious grooving in “Lucio the Happy Octopus,” all with one goal – to introduce us to a vibrant yet shrouded world that we already live in, but often refuse to acknowledge.
Elektragaaz seems to explore esoteric themes from the get-go in this album, but not solely through the themes of their music. I would even say that the most intuitive piece of material here is the striking “American Humoresque,” which features a wholly abrasive instrumental lashing atop synthetic foundations that could do some real damage to your floorboards if played at too high a volume. Indeed, a sense of danger is everywhere we look and listen on this plain The Synaesthetic Picture Show: Part 6 lives on, but because of the surgical precision of the performers in this record, never does it seem like we’re being led into a dungeon without any credible lantern to light the way ahead.
As far as volume is concerned, I can’t listen to “The Dark Forest,” “Death and the Gunfighter,” or “Sunset Wheels” at a moderate volume, mostly because it robs me of the chance to feel the music as much as I’m listening to it. At their loudest, these songs still sound unclouded and effective, which is hard to do considering the amount of noisy chaos living within the melodies of the potential bruiser “The Dark Forest” alone. The presence of the players is incredible and live-quality, and if what they accomplish in the pressurized “Sunset Wheels,” “American Humoresque,” or the aforementioned “Death and the Gunfighter” holds up on the stage, they could wind up having one of the more inviting and exciting live shows on the experimental circuits a lot sooner than later.
The Synaesthetic Picture Show: Part 6 is a mind-bender in more ways than one, as were the five records preceding it, and those who haven’t already given its tracklist a peek would do well to spin it before the autumn ends. In reality, this is an act that doesn’t need a label to know who they are and what kind of audience their music was made specifically for, and while some might look at this as an insular branch on which an experimental outfit can perch, I think it’s going to yield a lot of acclaim for Elektragaaz this year and in 2023 as well.